Franz Stigler, a German ace fighter pilot who risked his life to spare and then save the lives of 9 Americans by escorting their injured B-17 bomber out of Germany. The incident would later be called “the most incredible encounter between enemies in World War II.” (article)
This inscription, from Stigler to the American pilot (Brown), was left in a book Stigler gave to Brown after they reunited late in life and became close friends.
In 1940, I lost my only brother as a night fighter. On the 20th of December, 4 days before Christmas, I had the chance to save a B-17 from her destruction, a plane so badly damaged it was a wonder that she was still flying. The pilot, Charlie Brown, is for me, as precious as my brother was.
A pigeon, Cher Ami, that was awarded the Croix de Guerre for its service during WWI. Cher Ami delivered the S.O.S. message of a lost, encircled battalion despite being shot through the breast, blinded in one eye, covered in blood, and with a leg hanging only by a tendon.
The theme songs for Family Matters, Full House, and Step by Step were all sung by the same guy – Jesse Frederick. He also wrote the theme for Perfect Strangers.
The King of Thailand’s first name is Vajiralongkorn Barommachakkrayadisonsantatiwongse Deveshrathamrongsubariban Abhikhunuprakarnmahittaladuladej Bhumibholnaresvarangkura Kittisirisomburana Savangavadhana Barommakhattiyarajakumara
Pornography is legal in the US even though prostitution is not, because it is illegal to pay one explicitly for sex, but the participants in a film/photo are paid to act and are protected under the first amendment to take part in sexual acts as part of the act. (source)
In 1980, CNN had a video to sign off with in case of nuclear war
"We’ll be on, and we will cover the end of the world, live, and that will be our last event. We’ll play the National Anthem only one time, on the first of June [the day CNN launched], and when the end of the world comes, we’ll play ‘Nearer My God To Thee’ before we sign off." – Ted Turner
The Civil War prison camp Elmira had two observation towers constructed for onlookers. Citizens paid 15 cents to look at the inmates. Concession stands by the towers sold peanuts, cakes, and lemonade while the men inside starved (article)
Titanic survivor, Katherine Gilnagh, who was 16 when the Titanic sank, didn’t realise the seriousness of the ship’s situation until she reached New York. She thought that disembarking in lifeboats and being picked up by another ship was all part of the journey
Dr. Seuss cheated on his wife while she had cancer. After his wife killed herself, after finding out about the affair, Dr. Seuss married his mistress.
Her suicide note to him –
“Dear Ted, What has happened to us? I don’t know. I feel myself in a spiral, going down down down, into a black hole from which there is no escape, no brightness. And loud in my ears from every side I hear, ‘failure, failure, failure…’ I love you so much … I am too old and enmeshed in everything you do and are, that I cannot conceive of life without you … My going will leave quite a rumor but you can say I was overworked and overwrought. Your reputation with your friends and fans will not be harmed … Sometimes think of the fun we had all thru the years …”
When Frank Sinatra’s son was kidnapped the kidnappers demanded that all communication be on payphones. Sinatra was concerned he wouldn’t have enough change to complete the calls. He carried a roll of dimes with him at all times for the rest of his life; he was buried with ten dimes in his pocket
There was an interesting segment of a This American Life episode where Barry Keenan, one of Sinatra’s kidnappers, is interviewed about the incident.
Saving Private Ryan was so realistic that not only did veterans leave theaters during the opening scene, but visits to PTSD counselors rose and the Dept of Veteran Affairs set up a nationwide hotline for veterans affected by this film
After Gawker ran a story exposing billionaire Peter Thiel’s homosexuality, he funded dozens of lawsuits against the media company bankrupting it (article)